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PKR Vets topple the Senate in grand final

PKR Vets topple the Senate in grand final

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Preah Khan Reach Vets’ Lee Tae Hoon tries a shot past Senate on Sunday.

Preah Khan Reach Veterans defeated the Senate Team (Prit Saphea) 4-3 on penalties on Sunday at Olympic Stadium to clinch the Football For All trophy. The old boys, who included former national team stars such as Prak Sovannara, Hok Socheatra and Rith Dikar as well as current national team head coach Lee Tae Hoon of South Korean, showed that experience can overcome athleticism by dispatching their younger rivals in the shootout after the game had ended 2-2 in regulation time.

Two-time champions Flying Bikes claimed third place after demolishing Duong Ly 7-1 in Sunday’s playoff.

The annual competition organised by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports began on November 25 last year and featured 30 local and expatriate teams mostly based in Phnom Penh.

In the final, veterans Lee Tae Hoon and Prak Sovannara applied concerted pressure on the Senate defence early on. However, Chhim Seiha handed Prit Saphea the lead with a strike after 21 minutes.

Each half was played for a reduced 40 minutes, and PKR levelled the scores moments after the restart through Khen Sokhom.

Heap Vanda then seized back the advantage for the Senate on 57 minutes, before Hem Samchai converted a penalty to equalise with seven minutes left following a foul in the box on Khen Sokhom.

With both teams failing to kill the game in extra time, it was left to the cool heads of the seniors to seal victory from eleven metres.

Senate players and fans appeared infuriated by the referee, although coach Nem Sophoan refused to pursue a protest. “I can’t say anything,” he said. “We can’t change results by making complaints.”

Along with the trophy, PKR Vets picked up a cheque for 1.2 millions riels (US$298.50), while Senate collected 800,000 riels and Flying Bikes walked away with 400,000 riels.

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